Crystallography: Scientific Study of Crystals and Crystal Formation

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  • Topic: Crystal, Crystal structure, Crystal system
  • Pages : 6 (2228 words )
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  • Published : February 7, 2013
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Crystals form in the depths of the Earth to the extension of the clouds in sky. Some think that crystals elude the sight of people’s eyes everyday in life, but they are everywhere including ingredients for food, construction materials, and even in ice-cold weather. The crystals in this experiment are ammonia-generated crystals that can be created right in a home. The experiment will be testing the different effects and products on crystals in different temperatures and forms of light. Different measurements will be recorded throughout the experiment such as mass and length. But first the crystals must grow.

The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is called crystallography. All over the world, though the different ages of man, crystals have been found to take their place throughout different cultures, countries, and religions. Not only were crystals used for a part in the currency of some ancient economies, but also they date back as far as 1500 BC as a source of healing and medicinal uses. “The ancient Egyptians strongly believed in the healing and protective power of crystals. Many pharaohs wore crystals on their headdresses and many crystal amulets have been found in their tombs.” Pharaohs of ancient Egypt often believed that the use of crystals in the masks and jewelry gave them the effect of bettering their rule. Amazonite and Lapis were reoccurring crystals found in the tombs found in Egypt, particularly King Tut where Lapis was actually apiece in the famous mask he wore. Cleopatra’s favorite jewelry was supposed to be a ring made of the crystal amethyst. The ancient Chinese are also found to be users of the healing purposes of crystals. In two hundred different occasions, crystals are referred to in the bible. New Jerusalem, God’s heavenly city, was said to be built on top of crystals. “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Tibetan monks also viewed quartz crystal spheres as holy objects and worshiped them. The monks often referred to quartz as the “crystal of enlightenment”. Alexander The Great included a large emerald crystal encrusted in his battle helmet to insure a victory in the battle. The Shah Jahan, monks who built the Taj Mahal, wore talismans similar to Alexander The Great. Overall, There is a reoccurrence of crystals used for different purposes such as healing, sacred items, and fine jewelry.

There are many different structures of crystals based on the formation of them. The different forms are Cubic, Isometric, Tetragonal, Orthorhombic, Hexagonal, Trigonal, Triclinic, and Monoclinic. Cubic and Isometric are similar but don’t always have to be cubes. They can be found in forms of octahedrons and dodecahedrons as well as cubes. Tetragonal form double prisms and double pyramids due to one axis being longer than the other. Orthorhombic form dipyramids and rhombic prisms. Hexagonal are six-sided prisms and when viewed from a certain angle, the cross section is a hexagon. Trigonal, instead of having a 6-fold axis like the hexagonal, it has a 3-fold, thus making it trigonal. Triclinic has no set shape so these kinds of crystals can come in any shape and strange ones as well. Monoclinic are very similar to tetragonal crystals except they are skewed a bit so they don’t form good angles. These formations of the atoms and molecules in a crystal are all part of what is called the crystal lattice. The crystal lattice is the repetition of a pattern in three dimensions. The atoms and molecules of crystals form in such a way that in all three dimensions, they...
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